With Halloween just past, I have thinking about scary. There are lots of scary things in the world: crime, violence, war, hate-the list goes on and on. But there also the things we personally find scary:ghost-299936 putting ourselves out there, doing new things, taking risks. These things are not life and death but in our mind’s eye, they loom large, can fill the room.

Being a creative person has led me to confront a lot of these fears.  I am constantly trying to put myself out there, to be seen by people, to have others view my form of communication-my artwork. It’s a very scary world out there when one is endeavoring to reach out. You lay yourself open to judgment and rejection. But neither of those are a fearsome as invisibility because that is when you have no voice. Invisibility cuts you off from the rest of the world. Like a ghost that can’t touch and can’t be heard. So that is one of my big fears. It’s what keeps me confronting judgment and rejection.

My other big, scary place is the “imposter syndrome.” (That term, so aptly coined, by Alyson Stanfield in her article that inspired this one.) This syndrome says “what if people find out I don’t really know what I’m doing?.” I’ve been in this place plenty of times. Sometimes, even as I’m finishing a work, I wonder how it became what it is. I don’t remember exactly what I did to create an effect. Ghost of Lost LoveOr more pertenently, I don’t know how the concept, the process, worked that created the piece. I realize I don’t know because the creations are not born out of the logical mind. They are born from the right brain, where all invention is, the non-linear side of the brain. So, figuring out what I’m doing defies analysis. In a certain way, as long as I am being creative in my work, I will never “know what I’m doing.”

Therefore. I urge all of you who have been caught up by the imposter syndrome to be reassured. Your beautifully creative, colorful, intuitive right brain is working overtime to keep your inventiveness a bit of a mystery. Because, really, if we knew exactly how to do it, we would be creating anything new?



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Making a work of art every day is very challenging. Having set a particular topic makes for an even more narrow focus. It’s really good to delve into a particular subject in depth but it requires more and more ingenuity as the month progresses. This said, I’ve made a new elephant every day except one when I was driving to PA & then went to a wedding.

Here we go with week 2:IMG_3814

This little guy sure knows how to toot his horn!


This elephant has an unusual background. It is made with alcohol inks on Yupo paper, which is more like a slick sheet of flexible plastic. Then this beauty was drawn on top with graphite.


I just love this elephant’s ears and the way the trunk wraps around. Based on a photo I took in Tembe Elephant Park in South Africa.


I also photographed these elephants. I printed them, created the composition & began to transfer them onto gessoed hardboard.


This is the transferred elephants after the backing paper is soaked and rolled off. This is just the beginning of this work of art.


This sweet elephant got a more abstract treatment. I just love the smile!


Bringing color to my smiling elephant with Caran D’ache water soluble crayons. I used the lines of the many wrinkles to create a carnival effect.

That is my collection of elephants for the second week. I’ve been asked, “why elephants”? My daughters and I have always been partial to elephants. Then the book “The Elephant Whisperer” by Lawrence Anthony made clear how sensitive, loyal and caring elephants are, in addition to being so powerful.

What do you think about elephants?

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

One Week Of Art Every Day

November offers a challenge to artists who want to participate of Art Every Day Month. As I mentioned last time, I decided to rise to the challenge in a unique way by making it Elephant A Day month.

I was away last week in Golden, Colorado at a very busy Art Biz conference run by Alyson Stanfield, a guru in her field. I came back with lots of ideas for making my business better but I returned totally beat. I’m just starting to feel normal again after that intense meeting. One thing she emphasized was that the art needed to come first.

So I kept on making my elephants each day, even with little time to paint or post them. I want to catch you up on the first week now. After my little guy, tooting his horn, I made these.

Day 2 was a pink elephant day.

Day 2 was a pink elephant day.

Day 2 was a pink elephant day. He was done on paper using water soluble inktense blocks.

When An Elephant Goes Flying

When An Elephant Goes Flying

Day 3’s elephant was drawn completely from my imagination as I flew to Colorado. Just trying to picture how an elephant might get there if he made the trip.

Day 4

Day 4

Day 4 was the first in the conference. It was an intense day but Alyson(the conference leader) said she read a study affirming that drawing helped one’s focus. I took it to heart.

Black & gold day 5

Black & gold day 5

Blackie is a youngster, drawn on black paper, on the fly between the day and evening programs.

Doodles day 6

Doodles day 6

I was happy that we were provided with doodle pages in our workbook. Day 6 got Doodle, the elephant, as well as a couple of notes.

Day 7 Am I green?

Day 7 Am I green?

Day 7’s elephant is part of a larger painting I have been working on for a while. She has evolved over time to many colors. Right now she’s yellow & green. I think this may be her last incarnation but I make no promises.

So there you are, the first week of #elephantaday month (the first day is in the previous post). Which do you like best?

Posted in Africa, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


I really love elephants and I see that many of you love elephants too! So motivated by Art Every Day Month, I decided to step it up and do an ELEPHANT A DAY MONTH during the month of November!

Elephant Love Is Contagious!

Elephant Love Is Contagious!

I’d love to see pictures of those elephants that inspired your love. So if you would like to send pics to me or tell me your stories about why you love elephants, I am sure it will inspire me too!

This is what it looked like as I began working on my first picture for ELEPHANT A DAY November. This little guy got painted last night!

Drawing on canvas, the first entry in Elephant A Day. I'll be working on this project the whole month of November.

Drawing on canvas, the first entry in Elephant A Day. I’ll be working on this project the whole month of November.

It was late last night when I completed this painting. It is my first entry in my ELEPHANT A DAY month & Art Every Day Month 2015. Look for posts on Instagram and Facebook under the hashtags #elephantaday and ‪#‎aedm2015‬! This is “Come Baby, Toot Your Horn!”

"Come Baby, Toot Your Horn" acrylic on canvas 9"x12"

“Come Baby, Toot Your Horn” acrylic on canvas 9″x12″

It’s really a big stretch for me, so “liking” and “sharing” will give me the encouragement I need to make it happen!

Extra challenging is that I will be in Colorado this week, attending an Art Biz conference with Alyson Stanfield. Look for posts from the conference and lots more elephants in the weeks to come!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



I am so excited to announce the opening of my Etsy store:


I am making this a home for my many works that are art prints ready for reproduction. It is a place where you can take home some of my best paintings, even those that the original has sold. They are giclee prints -professionally printed art prints- of my original artwork: paintings, pastels, mixed media pieces- are of the highest quality possible. My pictures delight and uplift, to send your spirits soaring! The colors will energize and enchant you. The reproductions and original artwork shown there are created by me and conform to the highest standards.

My prints are the best fine art giclée reproductions have generous 2” borders to set off the image and enhance ease of framing.

• Printed on a professional 12 color printer, the Canon 8300
• On 100% cotton paper and canvas without brighteners
• Long-lasting, archival pigment inks, the gold standard in the industry
• unequaled color gamut and fidelity
• Tested to last at least a lifetime-85 years+
• Resolution-300dpi, considered the best

Both paper and canvas are unframed and unstretched, making the prints really affordable.  The canvas is printed with a mirror edge. That means that the last 2″ of the image is reversed and printed around the edge, so you have a beautiful, seamless wrapped edge when it is stretched. It looks like this

Mirror edge lets you hang stretched canvas prints without framing them!

Mirror edge lets you hang stretched canvas prints without framing them!

Here are some of the pictures that you can take home from the shop!

Castle Of The Sea Pastel 25"x19"

Castle Of The Sea Pastel 25″x19″

"DOT" watercolor on yupo paper

“DOT” watercolor on yupo paper

"X, Y, Z" acrylic on paper

“X, Y, Z” acrylic on paper

"THE LIBRARY" acrylic

“THE LIBRARY” acrylic

I hope you will go to my Etsy shop and “favorite ” it and “favorite” any items you like. I think you’ll find some you like, a perfect gift to yourself or someone special! To make it a sweet treat just in time for Halloween, if you use the coupon code: HappyHalloween, you will get  10% OFF your purchase! This offer only goes through Halloween weekend, so don’t delay.

Please let me know what you think the shop (a work in progress) and anything of mine that you would like included there!

[If the links don’t work, you can paste this URL into your browser]

Posted in Art for Sale, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


I don’t usually work with commercially made stencils but last week when I was at a craft store, I decided to buy a pack of six. When I went to use them, I was quite disappointed that the stencils where only made of paper and therefore would only allow one use. Way too expensive for that!

So I decided to seal the stencils by coating them with gel medium. Then I realized that I could make a wonderful texture on my canvas as I coated the stencils. Using a long palette knife, I placed the stencil on my canvas and smoothed gloss gel medium over it.

Applying gel medium through the stencil.

Applying gel medium through the stencil.

The trickiest part is lifting the stencils without tearing them.

So I teased up the edges all around with the palette knife and ever so gently lifted them without any disasters.

Carefully teasing up the edges of the wet stencil.

Carefully teasing up the edges of the wet stencil.

The texture left behind after picking up the stencil.

The texture left behind after picking up the stencil.

I loved the texture of roses and leaves that my first stencil left and decided to add another to the composition with the Moorish styles grid.

Roses and moorish texture on the canvas in gel media.

Roses and moorish texture on the canvas in gel media.

When I added that, because it was the background, I used a damp paper towel and the palette knife to remove some of the textured pattern. This makes it look somewhat less mechanical.

Once I have the texture on the page, I decided to add some color in a very diluted mix so that it would float around the surface. I sprayed the surface with water before and after adding the paint to help move it around.

Since I enjoy drawing women’s faces and I haven’t done one in a while, I decided to incorporate that into this picture. The tricky part was to then draw the image on top of this very textured and slick surface.

Watered down colors floated on the canvas. Then I added the profile of a woman.

Watered down colors floated on the canvas. Then I added the profile of a woman.

I thought I’d be able to do the drawing in charcoal and then seal it but my surface and the charcoal did not mix it well. So I ended up doing my drawing in acrylic. This was pretty forgiving and let me erase whatever I didn’t like and have another go at it. I added more definition to the portrait and design as I added transparent and opaque colors. Here is the finished piece. What do you think of how this technique worked out?

The finished painting.  12"h x 9"w, acrylic on canvas. I haven't come up with a name yet. Any suggestions?

The finished painting.
12″h x 9″w, acrylic on canvas. I haven’t come up with a name yet. Any suggestions?

Posted in Art Technique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


During the summer, when I went in to Barnes & Noble, one of my favorite places to shop on a hot afternoon, I was kind of surprised to see a bunch of coloring books on the “featured” table. No, this wasn’t in the kid’s department but rather at the main entrance. These coloring books were meant for adults!

It was a beautiful array of books, covering a breath of topics. I admired the books of florals, those containing landscapes and others on fantasy. With details and sophistication, these were definitely not our kids’ coloring books. I loved them!

My interest really blossomed as I read several articles written about the adult coloring book phenomenon. Studies have found that coloring enhances calmness from the repetitive movements, etc. and that it places people in the same relaxed, peaceful state usually attributed to meditation and similar disciples.

I have my own theories of why adults are enjoying coloring. While I agree that it is relaxing and induces peacefulness in people, I feel coloring gives people an opportunity to deal with their emotions, to reflect their feelings and their color preferences in a much safer way than having the walls painted or taking a big chance with their wardrobe. In fact, it is the pure pleasure of working with color. Selecting a perfect color, holding it in your hand, spreading it on the page, just where you want. This is a singularly satisfying experience.

In this pastel painting, I colored in all the sections of the painting.

In this pastel painting, I colored in all the sections of the painting.
“Vanity” pastel on paper, 26 x 18.

So it has been for me. The pure pleasure of holding color in my hand- I worked with pastel sticks earlier in my career- it was so dazzling, made me so excited and feel so powerful, that it sent me to my studio to merely have that experience. That my drawing reflected my limited skills didn’t bother me, it gave me a format with which to work with color, my great love.

I think that was what it did for me and I think that is what these adults coloring books do for their users. Because the picture is drawn, you have the freedom to create, without the fear of doing it wrong.

Line drawing for Abstract Coloring Book.

Line drawing for Abstract Coloring Book.

As I looked at these books, all I saw had specific themes and were realistically rendered.  I saw none that were open in their own interpretation. No abstraction, no expressionist rendering, drawings that would leave open not only the color but also the interpretation of the piece of art they were completing,

Line drawing for Abstract Coloring Book.

Line drawing for Abstract Coloring Book.

So I decided to create my own coloring pages. I have begun and will be combining them into an ebook that I will be giving away to new subscribers to my list. Here are samples of a couple of pages that I have completed on this project. I hope you like them and I will let you know when & how you can claim yours.

So tell me, do you like to color? Why? What kinds of images would you like to see in coloring books?

Posted in Art Colony, Art Process, Coloring | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


When I first went to Soutern Africa, I became aware of the sad plight of the rhinoceros. With World Rhino Day having just passed, I thought I’d share what I learned. 

 Like the elephant, rhinos have been the specific target of poachers. Their horns are thought to be an aphrodisiac by some Asain cultures and that drives the black market trade. Unlike the elephant, however, the horn of a rhino can be cut off and grow back in about a decade. 

 We visited a private game park where they voluntarily cut off the rhinos horns in an effort to save them by making them unattractive to poachers. Unfortunately, this only works in that kind of protected environment. In the wild, they need their horns to protects themselves. (Except against their worst predator, humans). 

 Momma with her horn cut (intentionally) by her baby, just growing his horn.

In the past, poachers used guns, the sound making their hunt known to those charged with protecting the animals. While the rhinoceros skin looks like armor, it doesn’t protect them from gunfire. 


II loved that I caught this action shot!

The poachers then found an easier way. They discovered that both elephants and rhinos love apples and oranges.  So after injecting the fruit with poison, the scattered the fruit for the animals to find and eat. When a rhino is dying from the poison, they come and cut off the animal’s face and leave them there to die. 

 This obscene tragedy has rendered the white rhino virtually extinct and the black rhinos in grave danger. In fact, when game parks are asked if they have rhinos, they may answer yes but never divulge numbers. Everyone in that part of the world is acutely aware of the precarious situation these creatures find themselves in. 

 This sheet is part of a planner I made.

And now I hope you are aware as well.

Posted in Africa, Animals, poaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


I had a good time making videos for a video challenge I participated in.  Most of them I haven’t made public because I am just learning this medium and didn’t feel comfortable sharing. I experimented a lot.

While I feel confident about my art, I sometimes it’s not so easy to talk about it. So I decided to make this video where my alter ego told you about the painting, “Smooth Sailing.” acrylic on canvas, 30″h x 40″w.

I think it’s pretty funny. What do you think?

Smooth Sailing, acrylic on canvas, 30" x 40" Original $1890 Prints from $69 at

Smooth Sailing, acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 40″
Original $1890
Prints from $69 at

You can purchase the original and prints on my website.

For all those celebrating Jewish New Year, L’shana Tova. May we all be blessed with the good life.  

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


I recently came across a call for art put out by a community group in Brooklyn in association with the city. They were looking for designs to beautify a parklet triangle at an intersection of two main streets. While it hasn’t been built yet, they plan to pave it with asphalt and were looking for artists to come up with designs to paint on the asphalt floor.

I’ve only applied a couple of times before to public works projects because they usually seem to grand scale as a place for a beginner to start. When I came across this call for submissions however, they were looking for patterns and that’s something I feel very experienced with. They wanted bold designs and colors, maximum of four, that can be painted by volunteers using stencils.

Here are 3 variations of one pattern. Color makes all the difference!

Here are 3 variations of one pattern. Color makes all the difference!

I set myself the task of coming up with the design and thought it would be just right to produce in the computer. Unfortunately, neither of my graphics programs would work. I even downloaded an app for my iPad in order to try to design it electronically. Making geometric shapes and repeating those shapes over and over seem exactly what computers do well!

Solid blue makes a background for the arrow-ended crosses to stand out.

Solid blue makes a background for the arrow-ended crosses to stand out.

I was very bummed out that I couldn’t get any of my devices to help me out on this and wasted a lot of time trying to do it. In the end, I designed the patterns by hand, using handmade stencils and the copy machine.

Alternating the colors makes for a push and pull between the arrow ended crosses and the 8 point stars.

Alternating the colors makes for a push and pull between the arrow ended crosses and the 8 point stars.

I ended up producing two different designs that I could see working well in the space. For each of these designs, I created a number of color variations but only submitted two variations for each design. It still amazes me, after being a colorist for so many years, how arrays of colors can look completely different, even when used in the same design.

By having dark purple become a background color, it highlights the pink, yellow and aqua arrows.

By having dark purple become a background color, it highlights the pink, yellow and aqua arrows.

Now you have seen the designs I submitted. Which one would you pick for painting on the asphalt?IMG_3269 (1)

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments